Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: artists, Chicago, special events, Taylor

Today was a day of culture & fun… culture for Taylor & fun for ME!!!
My favorite niece Taylor is on Spring Break this week and chose to come downtown
to spend a today at the Art Institute with me today! So my sister Jennifer packed ’em up
and headed downtown, along with one of her co-workers, her son Gabe… and Flat Stanley!
You know that scrappy, little flat guy gets to travel the world more than you & me!!!

Soon we were inside and visually overwhelmed – just like everyone else there! We toured
pretty much the entire Museum, starting in the original part with Japanese arts & ceramics,
Indian artifacts, glass paperweights, tapestries, furniture and so much more. We went down
to the Garden Cafe, past the Chagall Stained Glass windows… which were unfortunately
obstructed for routine maintenance. After lunch, we headed to the fun stuff… Picasso, Monet,
Gauguin, Cezzane, O’Keefe, Van Gogh, and the rest of the Masters! As always, the highlight
for most kids is Georges Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grand Jatte.”

We also worked out way through the sculptures and the Chicago architectural pieces by
Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan. The beautiful Sullivan gates were a perfect photo op
for Taylor & Stanley… apparently, “T” is for Taylor!

Before we left the original Museum space, we did stop off at the Thorne Miniature Rooms.
What little 7-year old doesn’t like exquisitely made, masterpiece doll houses?!

Then, we went over to the new Modern Wing of the Museum. I question a lot of what’s there…
I think my sister was hoping that I would be able to “explain” some of the things they call “art”
in the Modern Wing. Sadly, I couldn’t. I’ve never subscribed to the concept of “I’m an artist
and therefore anything I make is art.” Seriously, some of them are drop cloths! Or scribbles!
And even if I don’t quite “get it, I would still appreciate it if the craftsmanship was well-done.
Apparently, that didn’t matter for the American Modern Artists. At least the European’s I can
appreciate. Maybe not like them, but at least admire them for what they are. Picasso, Dali,
Kandinsky, Giaccometti, Goncharova… and my favorite Surrealist Rene Magritte!

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